Library redecoration update

The College Library redecoration work is almost complete. The interior paintwork is now completely finished, and the library is looking a lot brighter now.

As the shelves in Left Cloister are painted wood, and there are rather a lot of them(!) this means that we have been busy moving books around. At the moment all of the books in the Middle Room and Wigglesworth Law Room are on the floor:

Middle Room - decorating in progress

The Middle Room looking rather unusual this week, photograph by Annie Gleeson

Now that the paint has dried, we are starting to get the books back onto the shelves, but we are taking the opportunity to reorganise the journals and reference books a bit, to make things easier to find. The reference sequence now starts  on the shelves to the left as you enter the Benson Room with class R.A (encyclopedias), and the other reference classes now follow in alphabetical order around the room, with journals at the end in R.J (which continues into the Middle Room). We will be updating the library plans to reflect the changes, but please ask a member of staff if you are unsure where to find a book!

The doors were also painted last week, and the lettering has been redone:

Wigglesworth through door

Decorating underway in the Wigglesworth Law Library, photograph by Annie Gleeson

The outside of the Pepys Building has also been receiving attention. Pepys’s motto “Mens cujusque is est quisque” (taken from Cicero’s De re publica, meaning “The mind’s the man”) has been repainted, as has the frieze inscription ‘Bibliotheca Pepysiana 1724’ which records the date of arrival of the Pepys Library.

Pepys Building signs redone

Pepys Building West Front, photograph by Annie Gleeson

On the front of the building we also have the arms of Pepys, Sir Christopher Wray, and Peter Peckard, all major College benefactors. The arms of Wray and Peckard were added on to the building much later, possibly in 1813.  These are being repainted this year too, along with heraldry in other locations around College.

The final bit of work to be done this summer is the replacement of the carpet upstairs in Right Cloister. Sophie and I will then be busy getting the Library back to normal for the start of next term.

By Annie Gleeson


‘Pepys Building’. Magdalene College, University of Cambridge. Accessed 23 July 2014.

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